Wedding Questions: DJ vs Band?

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The vows have been said, toasts have been made, and hunger and thirst have been taken care of.  The entertainment part of your special day has arrived. Many brides and grooms look back at their weddings and wish they had put a bit more thought and a larger part of their budget towards the entertainment. People may not remember that the table napkins matched the flower arrangements, but they will remember if the reception was one of celebration and fun. One of the decisions you'll most likely have to make is whether to have a DJ or a band.

There are five categories of questions that need to be answered about your musical entertainment: What mood (style, vibe) do you want the music to set?  Will the music include a variety of songs-old, new, fast, slow, traditional to the area?  Does the DJ or band you'd like to hire fit within your budget? Is there enough space at the venue to comfortably fit all equipment and musicians?

Often, hiring a DJ is less expensive than hiring a band. Celebrity DJs can be as expensive as live bands, though.  Live band costs vary by the number of musicians, amount of time they will play, day of the week, and time of the year, among other variables. DJs can most likely play a larger variety of songs than a live band and with the original tracks and artists in most cases.  Live bands project more of a feeling of a musical performance.

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The typical questions should be asked, like: What is your cancellation policy-for example, if we have to change the wedding date?  What is your sick-day policy should the DJ or key

members of the band become unable to play at the reception–do you have a replacement backup?  Can you play the songs listed on our play list and will you avoid the songs on our do-not-play list?

I would also suggest asking questions like have you worked with our venue before? Did you have any issues with the acoustics or setup? How do you interact with wedding photographers and do you adjust your lighting when they're photographing important moments like our first dance? Would you describe yourself as an announcer, Master of Ceremonies, other?

Finally, if you have the opportunity, watch your DJ or band perform live or on YouTube if possible, but never at someone else's wedding reception unless you were an invited guest. If you are looking for recommendations of area DJs or bands, feel free to email me with your questions. Now, put your dancing shoes on and get the party started!

Until next time,
Kate

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